MEXICO CITY – The Rolling Stones have been together 54 years. That’s slightly longer than the 51 years that The Who have been shattering guitars and decibel levels. When it comes to longevity, though, both of these venerable groups are still whippersnappers next to Mexico’s Banda el Recodo, which has been making its distinctively engaging brand of music since 1938. Like every band that’s enjoyed long-term success, this collection of 17 musicians is constantly evolving with the times, not just in terms of its musical offerings, but also in its stage presentation. This much was made vividly and colorfully clear recently by the group’s new high impact lighting rig, which features over 140 fixtures from CHAUVET Professional.
Not only is Banda el Recodo ranked among the world’s longest running bands, it’s also one of the most successful (20 million albums sold) and most eclectic with a repertoire that runs from traditional Mexican Banda and Latin Dance, to Jazz, Swing, Classical, Pop and more. A key goal in acquiring the new lighting rig was to provide a rich and electrifying visual backdrop to the group’s sweeping and far-ranging musical expressions.
“When we decided to renew our lighting system, we tried many makers and models. Whereas it was a major investment, we knew we should be very careful in the selection of fixtures according to their power, performance, flexibility and reliability, as well as support of the brand. Chauvet products far exceeded all our expectations,” said Arturo Guevara, LD for Banda el Recodo.
The band’s new expanded lighting rig includes 84 Rogue RH1 Hybrid and 16 Rogue R2 Wash moving fixtures, 40 Next NXT-1 moving LED panels, six Atmos high-output fog machines, and 16 Data Stream 4 optical splitters. Aside from providing an array of exciting looks for the band’s multi-faceted musical performance, the new compact and multi-functional lighting rig also makes it quicker and easier for the Banda el Recodo production team to transport and load in the lighting rig.
As Guevara explains it: “The Rogue RH1 Hybrid moving heads allowed us to reduce space issues and installation time for our lighting rig. Having the flexibility to use a single fixture to project powerful beams, spots or wash effects is a great advantage when it comes to creating our lighting designs.”
Banda el Recodo, which has won six Latin Grammys (more than any other traditional Mexican group in history) and toured through Europe, Japan and Australia as well as North and South America, has also benefited from the pure punch of its new lighting rig. For example, the 6- and 8-facet prisms of the Rogue RH1 Hybrid, which can be used simultaneously, allow Guevara to create stunning 3D effects with extraordinary clarity in a rainbow of colors. Meanwhile the R2 Washes provide him with a wide and homogeneous wash light with enough coverage for the group’s larger stages. For its part, the Next NXT-1 allows the LD to display graphics and video in a panel format.
Self-taught clarinetist Cruz Lizárraga founded Banda el Recodo in the state of Sinaloa almost eight decades ago with the hope of bringing the beauty of the region’s brass-based Banda style music to a wider audience. With its global success, the group has achieved this goal in a way that goes beyond the wildest dreams of its founder. In fact, Banda el Recodo’s universal acclaim has earned it the title “Mother of all Bands” throughout Mexico. Now with the addition of new CHAUVET Professional fixtures to its rig, this timeless group has the mother of all lightshows too.